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February 20, 2010


Videocracy Italy's neo-fascist, and ostensibly corrupt, prime minister Silvio Berlusconi makes Barack Obama look like a rank amateur as a crowd-pleasing politician effortlessly branding himself as a media-hyped product for mass consumption. If that comes as a shock to you, then you might be able to patiently charge your cell phone while watching director Erik Gandini's awkward documentary that seems all too surprised at its subject's heavily televised implacability. At 73, Berlusconi knows the importance of a TV commercial anthem--all about him-- sung in full voice by a cross-section of Italian citizens, whose members are predominantly beautiful young women. Berlusconi capitalizes on his country's obsession with nubile females taking off their clothes on national television, and as obvious as that kind of salesmanship sounds, at least Italy's citizens get something out of his self-promoting propaganda. Italy even has a name for the profession of televised strippers; they're called "velinas." A weird subplot about Ricky Canevali, a young Italian singer who performs silly martial arts moves during his act, takes the movie down a rabbit hole that it never fully recovers from. Politicians of the world are the celebrity faces of multi-national global corporations that call the shots. If that's news to you then sure, go see this documentary about Italy's variety of such exploitation. I suppose you could say, at least Berlusconi wants to metaphorically kiss the citizens that he screws.

Not Rated. 85 mins. (D) (One Star - out of 5/no halves)


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